The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
- Anne of Green Gables, who is described in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s best-selling books as red-headed, freckled and — at least when the Anne series begins — prepubescent, gets a horrible makeover on the cover of this three-book set published in November.
- The only known poem written by an adult Winston Churchill is headed for auction this spring. The (slightly pompous) poem was discovered by a retired English manuscripts dealer. Titled “Our Modern Watchwords,” it begins, “The shadow falls along the shore / The search lights twinkle on the sea / The silence of a mighty fleet / Portends the tumult yet to be.” The British prime minister was famous for his love of poetry — he once surprised U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt with an impromptu poetry recital — but his only other known poem was written when he was a teenager.
- Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is reportedly planning to write a book on the U.S. response to the global financial crisis. Twitter explodes with proposed titles (The Yuan Also Rises? What To Expect When You’re Expecting a Bailout?).
- Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert is taking on Philip Roth over some advice he gave to a young writer named Julian Tepper. In a Paris Review essay, Tepper says Roth told him he should quit writing: “Really, it’s an awful field. Just torture. Awful. You write and write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it’s not any good. I would say just stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself.” Gilbert counters with an essay in which she says being able to write for a living is “a profoundly luxurious act,” and not “some sort of dreadful Mayan curse, or dark martyrdom that only a chosen few can withstand for the betterment of humanity.” Amen. Roth, for his part, hasn’t said anything.
- “Whatever, some parts were fun” — Swamplandia! author Karen Russell on what to put on her tombstone.
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